08 August-Chester Beatty Library

The Chester Beatty Library is located in the Clock Tower building in the grounds of Dublin Castle, Ireland. The Library, which was originally located on Shrewsbury Road in Dublin, moved to its present location in 2000. It has on display collections from the great cultures and traditions of the world.

Chester Beatty was a native of the USA. He was a successful mining engineer, businessman and philanthropist. He moved to Ireland in 1950 where he established his Library. He bequeathed his collection to the people of Ireland in his will. Today the Library is a designated National Cultural Institution. It attracts over 300,000 visitors annually from Ireland and around the world.

The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, was first opened to the public in the year 1953 On This Day.

Chester Beatty Library



10 December-Playboy

Playboy Magazine was founded by Hugh Hefner. The magazine is famous for its centrefolds of nude and semi-nude models who are called Playmates. Hefner founded Playboy Magazine on October 1st 1953. Today it is a global publication with a circulation of almost 700,000.

 Hugh Marston Hefner was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 9th 1926. He was educated locally and served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1946. Following military service he studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He graduated with a BA in psychology and creative writing in 1949. Following graduation he worked for a time with Esquire Magazine.

In 1953 Hefner raised almost $8,000, which included $1,000 from his mother, to establish Playboy Magazine. The first issue had Marilyn Monroe as a centrefold. The publication was a success and today Playboy is one of the world’s best known brands.

The first issue of Playboy went on sale in the year 1953 On This Day




26 September-Dolores Keane

Dolores Keane is a folk singer who is a native of Co Galway Ireland. She has had a successful career both as a member of the group De Dannan and as a solo performer. Internationally acclaimed as a singer, Dolores Keane has also performed the lead female role in Brendan Behan’s ‘The Hostage’ and Synge’s Playboy of the Western World.

Dolores Keane was born near Caherlistrane, Co. Galway in 1953. Born into a musical family she made her first recording at the age of five. In 1975 she was a founding member of De Dannan which became a successful band during the 1970’s. Keane moved to London where for a time she pursued a solo career.

Though Keane returned to perform with De Dannan she also did solo performances. She performed with other Irish artists such as Mary Black and Sharon Shannon. She has also recorded with international musicians such as Emmylou Harris.

Dolores Keane, folk singer and actress, was born in the year 1953 On This Day.

De Dannan



02 June-Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II has reigned for longer than any other monarch in British history. In February 2017 she celebrated 65 years on the throne. Together with a full programme of engagements the Queen has also undertaken many historic overseas visits. In 2011 Queen Elizabeth II became the first British Monarch to visit Ireland in 100 years.

Queen Elizabeth II was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor in London on April 21st 1926. She became Queen, on the death of her father George VI, on February 6th 1952. Her coronation took place in June 1953. She has reigned through a time of great change. Her personal popularity and public support for the monarchy remains high.

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place in the year 1953 On This Day.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II



05 March-Joseph Stalin

Joseph Stalin was the dictator of the Soviet Union for more than two decades. He was one of the most powerful and murderous dictators in history and millions of his own citizens died during his reign. Stalin modernised the Soviet Union and helped to defeat the Nazi’s during World War II.

Joseph Stalin (Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin) was born in Gori, Georgia on December 18th 1879. He was awarded a scholarship to study for the priesthood at the Tiflis Theological Seminary in Tblisi in 1894. Having been introduced to the writings of Karl Marx, Stalin left the seminary in 1899. He became involved in revolutionary and criminal activities. Following the Russian Revolution Stalin was appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party. When Lenin died in 1924 Stalin successfully outmanoeuvred other leading members to take control of the Communist Party.

Stalin ruled the Soviet Union from 1929 to 1953. He instituted a reign of terror which caused the death and suffering of tens of millions. During his reign the Soviet Union became an industrial and military superpower. In 1939 Stalin signed a non-aggression treaty with Nazi Germany. This allowed the two dictators, Hitler and Stalin, to invade Poland in September 1939 and divide it between them. Hitler, however, later broke the agreement. He began Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia, on June 22nd 1941. Stalin aligned the Soviet Union with the Allies to defeat the Nazis.

After the war Stalin was convinced that the Allies were a threat to the Soviet Union. This led him to establish communist regimes in several eastern European countries between 1945 and 1948. His activities in Eastern Europe led to the start of what became known as the Cold War. In 1949 the Soviet Union entered the nuclear age when it successfully exploded its first atomic bomb. In 1950 Stalin assisted the communist North Korean leader Kim il Sung in the invasion of South Korea leading to the Korean War.

In the early 1950’s Stalin’s health began to deteriorate and he became increasingly paranoid. He ordered a new purge of the Communist Party. However he died of a stroke at the age of 74 before the purge could be carried out. He had been dictator of the Soviet Union for 24 years.

Joseph Stalin died in the year 1953 On This Day.